Some companies are treating the ability to innovate as a privilege. Influence on innovation is accessible only to a selected group. Large parts of the team are excluded. Also partners, distributors, and customers can be excluded. Innovation is created by the few.
This is rooted in the idea that the more important something is, the less people should have access to it. While this can make sense in some cases, it is not the best approach for innovation. Innovation is the most customer centric activity in the company. Including few and excluding many is contrary to the very idea of innovation, it increases risk, and lowers ROI.
Internet has brought many ways to include people in company activities. Social media sharing, viral marketing, user generated content, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding are all activities which have a huge ROI by removing privileges and allowing everyone to participate. Innovation is no different, and open innovation is simply a way all innovation will be done soon. Making innovation open by removing its privilege status will lower the risk and increase ROI.